Bettendorf investigator found not guilty of aggravated assault

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Darin Oberhart

REYNOLDS, Illinois — A Bettendorf private investigator and certified firearms safety instructor accused of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon has been found not guilty after two days of trial.

Darin Oberhart, 50, had been accused of pointing a handgun at someone whose home he was taking photos of as part of an insurance investigation, according to Capt. Steven VenHuizen of the Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department.  The incident happened on Friday, July 6.

The case went to trial in 2019.  On Tuesday, February 5, a jury found Oberhart not guilty, according to court records.

Previous reports indicate the incident happened around 9:30 p.m. in the 200 block of Sunset Boulevard in Reynolds, at the home of Village President Steve Klauer. VenHuizen said Klauer confronted Oberhart on the sidewalk in front of the home, asking him why he was taking pictures. It was at that point, VenHuizen said, Oberhart pulled out a Glock handgun, pointing it at Klauer.

When deputies arrived on the scene after receiving a 911 call, Oberhart remained at the property and told deputies that he “feared for his life” and that it was the only tool he had to protect himself. Deputies determined that Klauer was unarmed, which was one of the reasons Oberhart was taken into custody and charged, VenHuizen said.

“As with any complaint we get, there are always two sides to the story,” VenHuizen said. “It’s the deputies’ job to filter and gather as many facts as they can to determine if there is probable cause to make an arrest. A deputy has to determine whether it was reasonable for a person to pull a weapon and deputies on this scene determined he did not. That is why he was arrested and why the state’s attorney’s office felt there was enough probable cause to file charges.”

When reached by phone after the incident, Oberhart declined to share his side of the story.

“I’ve been advised by my attorney not to comment,” he said.

Oberhart was booked into the Rock Island County Jail on July 6 and later posted $2,000 bond and was released.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Oberhart is the owner of two businesses: Quad City Investigations LLC and QCI Firearms Training. He was also a part-time police officer for the town of Scales Mound, Illinois – a village of around 400 people in Jo Daviess County near the Wisconsin border.

Jim Davis, the Scales Mound village president, said Oberhart had been put on administrative leave until the matter was resolved. Oberhart was hired a few years prior to help in nuisance and property abatement enforcement in the town. Virtually all criminal matters in the village are handled by the Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Department, Davis said.

Davis did say the village board had been “on and off the fence about having a cop or not having a cop,” but pointed out that having someone from outside of town handle nuisance violations is helpful.

“No county sheriff has time to deal with these nuisance issues, they need to focus on crime,” he said.

Davis said there had been no serious complaints lodged against Oberhart, other than typical “small town” complaints about violations enforcement.

“We aren’t going to hang anyone out to dry because of allegations,” he said, adding that they planned to “let the court system and the lawyers run their course.”

After the trial verdict came down, Davis told News 8 that Oberhart no longer worked with Scales Mound, saying he had resigned a few months prior.

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